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White Paper sets out proposals for new Welsh Language Education Bill

27 Mar 2023 3 minute read
Education Minister Jeremy Miles

The Welsh Government, as part of the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, has published a White Paper setting out proposals for a new Welsh Language Education Bill.

The White Paper sets out new proposals to achieve goals for increasing the number of Welsh speakers, protecting the  language, and increasing Welsh language provision in education.

The main proposals include:

Reflecting the target of a million Welsh speakers in law.

Creating a single Welsh language skills continuum to describe skill levels so that learners, teachers, parents and employers have a common understanding of the journey towards learning Welsh.

Establishing a statutory system of categorising maintained schools according to language-medium.

Enhance Welsh language provision in maintained schools that are not already designated Welsh-medium schools.

A requirement for ministers to create a statutory National Plan for the acquisition and learning of Welsh, and review it in each Senedd term.

Reform how local authorities plan Welsh language provision in schools in order to meet targets set by ministers.

Requirements for local authorities to proactively promote Welsh-medium education, including late immersion provision and providing specialist support for schools with Welsh language learning.

Study

The paper also includes a commitment for the Welsh Government, through the Co-operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, to conduct a study with specialist input to consider a steeper trajectory for the growth of Welsh medium education for 2050 and beyond.

The proposals will mean an increase in the number of Welsh-medium schools and also an increase in the Welsh language provision in schools that aren’t already designated as Welsh-medium schools.

In addition, school language categories will be on a statutory basis for the first time, giving a clear, accurate image of Welsh language provision in all maintained schools in Wales.

The National Plan aims to create clear targets for each local authority on improving Welsh language provision, including national targets for Welsh-medium teacher recruitment.

The government is seeking views on the proposals via a consultation which is open until 16 June 2023.

The Government has committed to introduce a Bill in this current Senedd Term.

Opportunity

Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles said: “We are committed to a future where everyone has the ability and the opportunity to use Welsh in their everyday lives. That’s why we are consulting on proposals to put our aims into law and to improve Welsh language skills in all schools.

“Cymraeg belongs to us all so it’s important that everyone has their say. Please answer the consultation and make your views heard.”

Plaid Cymru’s Designated Member, Cefin Campbell, added: “Our long-held vision is that the education system is absolutely key in giving each child the gift of fluency in the Welsh language. Bilingualism and multilingualism are the norm across Europe; the proposals in the White Paper take us further towards ensuring that our education system delivers Welsh to all pupils in a way that creates confident speakers.

“I am pleased that we have been able to work together on those areas we have been able to find common ground on proposals that will bring about a significant shift in approach and to produce new principles for education in Wales.”


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Iago Prydderch
Iago Prydderch
10 months ago

Unless there are only Welsh medium schools, or at least bilingual schools, they will never meet a million Welsh speakers even in a hundred years. Haven’t they looked at the last census? The number of Welsh speakers has gone DOWN! And this has happened since devolution. This is just another gimic to pacify those who want to save the language, but does absolutely nothing!

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
10 months ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

I sadly agree! Call me a cynic but in my view, the Welsh Government (run by a unionist party, remember) couldn’t care less about the Welsh language. They view Y Fro Gymraeg as a stumbling block to a unified civic Wales with one million people who can say ‘Bore da, dw i’n hoffi coffi,’, but whose lives and cultural references are completely anglocentric – apart from shouting the odd ‘Cmon Cymru’ on the sports fields – the only place where the Union can be challenged. The Welsh government actively promote the colonisation of Wales through having completely unrealistic ‘population projections’… Read more »

Riki
Riki
10 months ago
Reply to  Iago Prydderch

Agree! I would even go further and bring into law a bill that lowers the amount of English programming in Wales. Unless this happens, Cymraeg will never be a majority language in its homeland again. As for the amount the British (No, I won’t call it Welsh as it’s the native British government) government are doing now in Cardiff, it’s exactly as you say, it’s nothing but a gimmick to keep the Minority Speakers Quiet. The fact they won’t safeguard Cymric place names is a bit of a give away to how they really feel.

CJPh
CJPh
10 months ago
Reply to  Riki

You’re clearly passionate about our culture, heritage and language. Why then do you want it in the hands of a unionist party? Why in the hands of the lawmakers of England and Wales? Why government? We were winning. Goverment gets involved, we’re now stagnanting. Proliferation of our language comes with voluntary acquisition and individual support stretched across communities, innovation and reverence for our history. Most of our current cultural output is a pale imitation of other people’s stuff done yn y Gymraeg (scandi noir, hardboiled detectives solving complex murder cases every week in a nation that’s had 1 native serial… Read more »

Lazar Ionescu
Lazar Ionescu
10 months ago

As someone who has moved here from a former communist country, I can honestly say that the only language being forced on anyone in Wales is English. It is plain as day! And actually, I want Welsh education for my children. Why do so many people in Wales hate their own language? Stockholm Syndrome?

Last edited 10 months ago by Lazar Ionescu
Riki
Riki
10 months ago
Reply to  Lazar Ionescu

That’s exactly what it is my friend. It comes about thanks to the constant b*mbardment of Anglo Values, or should I say, No Values! The Welsh children who were/are convinced the language is some how inferior to that of English grow up with pure hatred for it, due to how they were treated as Children. This is reinforced through constant demeaning hit pieces by the English media and constant English control of all aspects of Media and Entertainment. As bad as this hatred is for the language, what’s worse is that the Cymric Britons are totally fine with being called… Read more »

Cawr
Cawr
10 months ago

I genuinely wish pain upon you. The worst imaginable. Get out of my country.

Last edited 10 months ago by Cawr
Paul Donaldson
Paul Donaldson
10 months ago
Reply to  Cawr

Say no more about the type of people on here😒. Nationalism and hatred throughout.

Riki
Riki
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Donaldson

What is inherently wrong or immoral about nationalism? I don’t hate anyone, I just love my own country and want what’s best for it. If in your head that means it comes at the detriment of others, I have nothing else to say but I’m sorry. I will not vacate my rights to preserve and protect my culture so that others can feel a little easier. It’s an international world, if a person doesn’t like how a certain nation is run, one can always leave. No where in the entire world is this easier than here in the UK, we… Read more »

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
10 months ago

Ignorant statement

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